Ekushey Padak-winning stage and TV actor, director, Shadhin Bangla Betar activist, Freedom-fighter Aly Zaker was a legendary persona.
The noted thespian passed away at Dhaka's United Hospital at 6:45 am on Friday morning. The legendary actor made a mark on stage with stage plays such as "Acholayatan", "Baki Itihash", "Bidogdho Romonikul", "Kanthal Bagan", "Toil Shongkot", "Ei Nishiddo Pollite",and "Nuruldiner Sharajibon" among many others.
Aly Zaker's powerful presence in television dramas as "Aaj Robibar", "Bohubrihi", "Tothapi", "Pathor" and "Deyal" among others, entertained the audience for years on end.
In 1972, Aly Zaker made his theatre debut with Arannyak Natyadal's "Kobor" and later went on to work with Nagorik Natyasampradaya in 1973. The actor's popularity later spread on to television as well.
Born on November 6, 1944 in Chattogram, Zaker's father Muhammad Taher was a government officer. Aly Zaker won the prestigious Ekushey Padak, for his contributions in 1999. He bagged numerous awards and accolades including Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award, Selim Al-Deen Padak, Shaheed Altaf Mahmud Padak, Munier Chowdhury Padak and Meril Prothom Alo Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other accolades
Several colleagues and well-wishers shared a few words with The Daily Star, mourning this iconic legend.
I lost one of my closest friends. I was lucky to be able to call him that. Aly Zaker's loss has created a never to be filled void for our country. I cannot yet fathom that he has left us all – it has left me speechless and heartbroken. I don't know how to express his loss.
People will forever remember him as Bengali theatre's Dewan Gazi, Nuruldin, Macbeth and Galileo.
Tariq Anam Khan
Aly Zaker and I had a long-lasting relation for decades, but personally, he was my inspiration. He was also a valuable critique of my life.
I met him a few days before he got sick and we had a discussion on various aspects of culture, theatre and art. Aly Zaker was an ever-smiling presence in our life, he tried his best to keep everyone around him as happy and smiling as him. He used to view art as a holistic experience for everyone.
His death is a huge loss for us all and I also lost one of my most favorite people.
Though Aly Zaker left us, he took Bangladeshi theatre onto much greater heights through his acting and directions. He was a towering presence, not only physically but also by artistic standards. As a freedom fighter, he gave the theatre Liberation War's true essence, also contributing greatly to the establishment of the Liberation War Museum. I express my heartfelt respect to this legendary actor and freedom fighter.
I am at a loss for any words or expressions. Aly Zaker, our beloved 'Chhotlu Bhai', is no more, he has set out on his eternal journey. I hope Sara Bhabi, Iresh and Sriya gathers the strength to endure this grief.
Farewell to our beloved 'Chhotlu Bhai', until we meet again.
We are now forever deprived of a trusted shade of love, affection and adoration. His troubled heart gave into peace at long last. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made our lives so complicated, that we cannot even say farewell to our beloved person. How helpless we really are, how painful his loss is!
I hope Chhotlu Bhai finds his peace now, he was our pride.
Aly Zaker was such an actor, who enlightened the world of acting with his talent and presence. Be it on stage, on television or in any other medium, he has enlightened every step of his path. He is his own comparison, he is incomparable to others.
He loved the stage more than anything and I lost a colleague and friend of many years.
Nawazish Ali Khan
The news of Aly Zaker's death has left me heartbroken. He was known for his versatility and talent, in theatre, television and also as a person.
As also a leader in the advertising industry, our country has lost an outstanding personality in many incomparable creative fields. May his soul rest in peace forever!